Archive for ‘administrative’

July 20, 2016

This blog is 6 years old

by Neil Rickert

I received notification from WordPress, earlier today, that it is now 6 years since I started this blog.

My posting rate has slowed down recently.  But it has not completely stopped.  The slowdown is partly because I’m frustrated with the weirdness of philosophy.  (Hmm, maybe that would make a good title for a future post).

I have not posted much on politics.  That’s mostly because few people are likely to be interested in my opinions.  But this has been a strange political season, so I’ll probably be posting some comments before the November elections.  I will at least wait until after the conventions.

May 14, 2016


by Neil Rickert

Recently, my posts have been infrequent.  That’s partly, because of frustration.

Scientists often criticize philosophy.  And, when they do, philosophers retort that scientists do a lot of philosophy themselves.  That’s true.  But it misses the point that the kind of philosophy that scientists do is often very different from what analytic philosophers do.

I’ve decided to try a new track.  Instead of pointing to disagreements with analytic philosophers, I shall attempt to outline my own ideas of how philosophy should be done.  In particular, it will be a guide to how I look at the questions related to human cognition.  And then, I will contrast that with what analytic philosophers appear to be doing.  I’ve created a new category “My Philosophy” to use for these posts.

To me, the kind of philosophy that I see coming from academic philosophers resembles religion.  I sometimes think of it as the religion of the academy.  What makes it look like religion is a strong emphasis on preserving ancient traditions.

Philosophers tend to be bright people.  The posts on my philosophy will be suggesting where I might hope that they will redirect their analytical skills.

July 19, 2015

Five years of blogging

by Neil Rickert

WordPress notified me, earlier today, that it five years since I started this blog.  I wasn’t sure that I would keep it up that long.

My blogging rate has slowed.  At the beginning it was a bit more than one post per week.  Now it is closer to one per two weeks.

My thanks and appreciation to those who have been reading this blog.

May 1, 2015

The Sheldrake — Shermer debates

by Neil Rickert

“Through the months of May, June, and July of 2015, is hosting an intensive dialogue on the nature of science between Rupert Sheldrake and Michael Shermer.”

That’s quoted from “Sheldrake-Shermer, Materialism in Science, Opening Statements“.  I found it an interesting read.  I plan to keep my eye on this debate over the next few months.  Perhaps I’ll post something based on what I read.

October 17, 2014

I’ve been neglecting this blog

by Neil Rickert

It’s been a little over a month since my last post.  I took a few days of travel, but never got back to posting on my return.

Mostly, I have been engaged in similar philosophical discussions at The Skeptical Zone, where I continue to see people look at things with a “God’s eye view” philosophy that cannot work (in my opinion).

Now reading

I am currently reading Dembski’s new book “Being as Communion” and will probably post on that when I have finished.  I won’t say that the book is disappointing, because I started with low expectations.

In the meantime, I’ll try to get back to posting around once per week.

May 20, 2014

A good sign for the economy?

by Neil Rickert

Spamming is up.  I’m referring to comment spamming of blogs.

I have just deleted 26 spam comments.  When I checked this morning, I deleted 29 spam comments.  In the middle of the day, I deleted another 23 spam comments.

Until recently, I would rarely see more than 2 spam comments per day.

I’m guessing that this is a good sign for the economy.  It suggests that someone has money to spend on hiring spammers.

Oh, and Akismet is great in detecting spam.  I do briefly scan what it finds to see if there are any false positives, though that seems to rarely happen.

August 20, 2013

Why I started this blog

by Neil Rickert

I have not posted much lately, so perhaps the background that I shall try to present here will partially explain that.

During my own study of human learning, I have come to understand how the mind works.  I could be mistaken about that, of course, though my understanding continues to hold up rather well.  Readers of this blog will doubtless be skeptical, since I have never published an explanation of how the mind works.

I have made attempts to present an explanation.  But my attempts are not successful.  People react as if what I write is obviously wrong, yet they are never able to tell me what is wrong.  What becomes very clear, is that the way I am looking at the question is very different from the way that they are looking at the question.  And that observation is where I came up with the idea for the title of this blog.

There’s a message here, about thinking outside the box.  If you think too far outside the editor’s box, you won’t get published.

I started the blog, to have a place where I could present some of my ideas.  And I have been doing that, though with care to try and stay not too far from the terminology that is commonly used by others discussing the mind.  But it does become frustrating, after a while, to be unable to communicate what I see as important ideas.

My best guess is that I shall never succeed in presenting my understanding of the mind.  I am not allowing that to bother me, though I do occasionally need to take a break from thinking about the related issues.  Hence my recent lack of posting.

June 26, 2013

Back from vacation

by Neil Rickert

I didn’t actually go anywhere.  But there does seem to have been a hiatus in postings to this blog.  I needed a break.

December 31, 2012

2012 in review

by Neil Rickert

[I don’t know whether readers will find this useful.  It is the annual report on the blog generated by wordpress.]

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

December 21, 2012

Season’s greetings

by Neil Rickert

‘Tis the holiday season, so I will delay any future posts on perception or on how science works, until January.  I may still post on other current topics, such as the fiscal cliff.


  • Merry Christmas
  • Happy Holidays
  • Tasty Noodling
  • Enjoy the Mayan apocalypse
  • etc, etc, etc

I hope I haven’t left anybody out.  I’m not sure why some people take offense at neutral expressions such as “happy holidays”, but if they get their enjoyment out of indulging in a persecution complex, then best wishes to them.

It has long seemed to me that Christmas time is really an orgy of celebration for America’s true god, The Almighty Dollar.